Shields Named Dean of Fulbright College

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The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on Monday announced Todd Shields as the new dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the university’s largest academic unit.

Shields, dean of the university’s graduate school and international education, has been interim dean of Fulbright College since August. He will begin his new job March 24.

Fulbright College, which provides the core curriculum for all UA students, is home to 19 departments and more than 30 academic and interdisciplinary programs as well as nine research centers.

“Fulbright College is at the heart of everything we do, and it is critical to have a dean who understands that role,” Provost Sharon Gaber said in a news release. “For the past several months, Dr. Shields has led two academic units on our campus, and I appreciate his commitment and service to the university.”

According to the news release, Shields is an accomplished researcher and educator. He has published dozens of journal articles and is the co-author or co-editor of several books. He co-wrote The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns, which won the 2009 Robert E. Lane Award for the best book in political psychology, awarded by the American Political Science Association.

He is also the co-author of Unlocking V.O. Key Jr.: “Southern Politics” for the Twenty-First Century. He was co-editor of The Clinton Riddle: Interdisciplinary Perspectives of the 42nd President and New Voices in the Old South: How Women and Minorities Influence Southern Politics.

Shields attended the Management Development Program in Higher Education at Harvard University and the Ohio State University’s summer institute in political psychology. He has also been recognized for his commitment to student achievement, teaching and research excellence and commitment to growth and diversity.

“Coming from the perspective of a political scientist who arrived on campus nearly 20 years ago, I am honored and humbled to lead this exceptional college named for Sen. J. William Fulbright,” said Shields. “This college was my original home at the university, and I look forward to the many things we will accomplish together.” 

Shields earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Kentucky and holds two bachelor of arts degrees — one in political science and one in psychology — from Miami University.

He joined the University of Arkansas in 1994 as an assistant professor of political science. He was promoted to associate professor in 1999 and to full professor in 2005. He also directs the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and previously served as interim dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. 

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